Author:Malcolm Gordon

I've had folk get in touch wanting to know what words or music they can use to respond to the unspeakable violence that occurred in Christchurch on Friday. I confess I am numbed by this act, and do not have anything new at hand to offer. A dear friend text me last night saying she and her gathering were singing my song, 'How Long O Lord.' If you haven't heard it, here it is. It might...

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Image by Pexels on Pixabay Songs for the Saints by Malcolm Gordon Here's a congregational song based on the ancient Christian hymn, embedded in Paul's Epistle to the Philippian Church (Phil 2:5-11). It focuses on the humility of Christ which paradoxically, is his pathway to being given the 'name above all names.' It names the complicity of humanity in Christ's death, and the hand of God in raising him. As we journey into Lent, this combination of...

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I was asked by a friend in the States for a song her congregation might sing throughout Lent. I didn't think I had anything, until I remembered one Lent over a decade ago when I went without shoes for 6 weeks. It was an amazing experience, feeling the different textures of the earth under my feet, textures I was so often oblivious to and ignorant of. I realised how insulated I was from the world...

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So I've just realised something. As you read this, you might find yourself thinking, 'He is not very quick.' And that's ok, in fact, that's kind of the point. As a songwriter, I have moved through various phases. I began writing pop songs that were meant to make you tap your toe and buy albums (and think I was cool). Then I moved into writing spiritual songs that were meant to connect with your soul and...

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I just had an enquiry from Canada about this song of mine, Sweetest Mystery. It is one of my favourites from my 2013 album, 'Into the Deep.' For some reason it hasn't seemed to have caught on with others as much as it has caught on with me. I have been under its spell since I wrote it. In many ways this song that I created has been recreating me ever since. I wrote it...

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I've been making myself pay attention to Advent this year. Weirdly its meant I've found more depth in my reflections on Christmas. Go figure. The God who is all powerful and sovereign over all creation is not revealed through might and majesty at Christmas, but in vulnerability and powerlessness. Jesus is born the helpless baby of a helpless young woman. Without Mary, Jesus is lost. Without Joseph, Mary is lost. Oddly, the one who comes to...

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Elsewhere I've spoken of the need to save advent from Christmas. Here I want to help us think about Advent saving Christmas. We are presently two weeks into Advent. The first week the gospel reading was an apocalyptic passage from Luke 21, and this last Sunday had us hearing about John the Baptist. This Sunday doesn't let up, with a prickly message from John that doesn't really let us settle into the usual 'Christmas spirit.'...

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We had our graduation last night for our 2nd year ministry interns. They've been with us for a two year journey of discernment and formation, following on from theological study and plenty more discernment. To mark the end of this chapter, I wrote a simple liturgy. It wove in themes we had been working through and thinking over during the block course: trinitarian theology, language for God that goes beyond the masculine and the personal, as...

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I've been wrestling with Luke 21:25-36, which is the lectionary reading for this week - the first week in Advent. It's an easy passage to avoid. But as I've stayed with it, I've noticed some things worth paying attention to. This song grew out of that. [caption id="attachment_3711" align="alignright" width="300"] Leon Thomas' 'Apocalypse' from MARK: The Illustrated Gospel[/caption] Lyrics: We strain our ears for hope's whisper is rising We train our eyes on the farthest horizon For the clarion call...

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I once heard William Willimon lecture at Otago University. He told a story of some students he had taken on a mission trip to Haiti during their summer break. During one of the final evenings of the trip, the students sat around a camp fire and shared their favourite passages of scripture with one another: John 10:10, “I come that you shall have life in the full” was one; Romans 8:28, “Nothing can separates us from...

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